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Update 1/14/19 2:30pm: At an Airbus event in Montreal Monday morning, A220 program head Rob Dewar incorrectly stated that the aircraft had received ETOPS-180 certification by the FAA, EASA and Transport Canada, all during the month of December. Dewar issued a correction later in the day, clarifying that only Transport Canada had certified the aircraft itself for ETOPS-180 — the FAA had only certified the engines, and both the engines and aircraft are pending certification with the EASA. We’ve updated the text below to reflect this correction.
Airbus is showing off its new Bombardier partnership to a group of journalists in Montreal, and the company just dropped some huge news about the Airbus A220 program.
The new single-aisle aircraft — which has already been delivered to Delta and will be making its way to JetBlue and the airline tentatively known as Moxy over the next few years — has received ETOPS-180 certification from Transport Canada, theoretically enabling flights over large bodies of water, including the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Transport Canada completed the certification at the end of last year, bringing Airbus one step closer to being able to sell both the A220-100 and larger A220-300 with global ETOPS-180 approval. That means it will be capable of legally flying routes up to three hours from the nearest diversion airport, though crucial FAA and EASA approvals are still pending.
FAA approval will great news for airlines and passengers — while smaller than the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, the A220 series is arguably the most comfortable single-aisle jet in the skies, with advanced connectivity, economy seats that are at least 18.5 inches wide, large lavatories, wider aisles, and enough overhead space for everyone onboard, virtually eliminating the need for gate-checked bags.
The A220 series is also considerably more fuel efficient than previous-generation aircraft, with at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat, making it less expensive to operate than conventional jets. The plane also has a range of more than 3,600 miles, covering the distance between New York-JFK and London (LHR).
As a result, JetBlue could test the waters of transatlantic service with a smaller plane, operating A220 flights from its New York and Boston (BOS) hubs, for example, rather than purchasing larger A321LR jets. It would also enable flights from various West Coast markets to Hawaii.
Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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